By Luis Nicolau Parés, Roger Sansi

ISBN-10: 0226645770

ISBN-13: 9780226645773

ISBN-10: 0226645789

ISBN-13: 9780226645780

So much scholarship on sorcery and witchcraft has narrowly concerned with particular instances and areas, rather early glossy Europe and twentieth-century Africa. and lots more and plenty of that learn translates sorcery as basically a remnant of premodern traditions. Boldly tough those perspectives, Sorcery within the Black Atlantic takes an extended historic and broader geographical viewpoint, contending that sorcery is healthier understood as an Atlantic phenomenon that has major connections to modernity and globalization.A unusual crew of members the following study sorcery in Brazil, Cuba, South Africa, Cameroon, and Angola. Their insightful essays show the best way practices and accusations of witchcraft unfold through the Atlantic international from the age of discovery as much as the current, developing an indelible hyperlink among sorcery and the increase of world capitalism. laying off new mild on a subject of perennial curiosity, Sorcery within the Black Atlantic might be provocative, compelling interpreting for historians and anthropologists operating during this becoming box.

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I was, however, captivated by analyses such as that of Carlo Ginzburg’s I benandanti or that of Danish historian and folklorist Gustav Henningsen, whose “The Ladies from the Outside” commented on the educated elite’s incapacity, with the advent of the modern era, to comprehend popular practices that had ex­ isted since time immemorial (Ginzburg 1966; Henningsen 1990). During the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, when I returned to the theme of sorcery in my book Inferno Atlântico—demonologia e colonização, extremely influenced by the studies of British historian Stuart Clark, magical-religious practices became a window through which I sought to understand the past of the land that later came to be known as Brazil (Souza 1993; Clark 1984).

Whatever the case is, the word was known and used when talking to Europeans. The paradoxical result was that for the Europeans, the fetissos became an African thing. 7 The Catholic distinction between sorcery and religion was superfluous: magic and ritualistic religion were the same thing. The religion of the Africans was the fetisso, and this placed them at an irredeemable distance from Prot­ estant Europeans. In this way, similar to the way in which mandinga be­ came synonymous with African sorcery in the Portuguese colonial world, because it was foreign and strange, the Portuguese feitiço became synony­ mous with African religion in the trading ports of West Africa.

La Courbe, a French traveller, talks about these tangomagos, saying that “[t]hey always wear a large Crucifix around their neck and call themselves by a saint’s name, although for the most part they are neither baptized, nor show any evidence of Chris­ tian religion” (Brooks 2003, 153). Another traveller, Olivier, talks about a certain Dom Joan of Rufisque, who had “several wives [ . . ] He prayed two Missionaries [ . . ] to baptize his children [ . . ] I was astonished to see that this man was very devout, having always a large Rosary in his hands, & several images of Our Saviour, of the Virgin, & of the Saints around his bed.

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Sorcery in the Black Atlantic by Luis Nicolau Parés, Roger Sansi


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